Little would have prepared me for what happened just now, but, as it turns out, intense moments call for extraordinary focus and resolve.

I was very excited to cross the four mile bridge from Astoria, Oregon into Washington. I sang and chatted vigorously with the construction attendants as I waited for my turn to go. I had a great ride leading up to this point. I met Pat and her friend at the local cafe this morning and ate a fresh marionberry scone and chocolate chip cookie, got rained on pretty heavily so I got to see how everything faired in the weather (the system worked pretty well, although some fenders would help!) and I felt strong throughout the morning’s ride.

I’m exhilarated soaring down the steep stretch of bridge. Because of the construction, all of the cars got to go ahead of me, so I’m basically alone on my side of the road. As I reach the bottom I hear a sound that reminds me of the noise I hear when the tarp is hitting the trailer’s wheel, so I pull over and check it out. The trailer’s tire is flat!

My trusty and beloved trailer! Flat tire! In the middle of a 4 mile bridge!

Smiling, alert, laughing and trusting that all of this serves the highest good, I get to work – removing the spare tube from the bag, getting the shrader valve on the pump, and checking the flat tube.

Turns out there was a jagged staple, bent upwards at one end, lodged in the tire opposite the valve. The tire is quite difficult to get off so I have to get my multi tool out to pry it out as I exert quite a bit of force holding the rim of the tire and moving it all out.

Once the new tube’s in, I think, I have to get a picture of this! As I am getting a few images I quickly become aware of how close I am to the cars, how fast they’re going, and how this is not a safe place to stand and take pictures!

Speedily moving onward, I see a sign, Entering Washington and smile, feeling a sense that I love the state already as I am welcomed by a rocky water’s edge and a multitude of evergreens on steep cliffs.